The Unbearable Lightness of Being
by Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 7, Chapter 1 Summary
- We backtrack to a time when Tereza and Tomas were still living.
- They purchased a tiny cottage and are now living in the country. They are safe there, because no one is interested in the political lives of people living in the middle of nowhere.
- Tereza is happy to be away from the other women and her fears about the secret police.
- She and Tomas are finally alone, together.
- Tereza imagined that the country would embody the image she had of it in her mind from books she used to read as a child. But under Communism, she finds that it breaks from this ideal.
- It's not as communal and kindhearted as she imagined, and certain things (like celebrating Church holidays) are forbidden.
- Instead of reveling in their lifestyle, the people who live in the country long to live in the city.
- This, explains the narrator, is why the secret police have no power over the people who live there – the people in the country have nothing to lose, and so they have no fear.
- For this reason, they live in freedom.
- Tereza and Tomas are the only ones who came to the country voluntarily.
- They become good friends with the collective farm chairman, the man who was Tomas's former patient. He owns a pig named Mefisto that he treats like a pet dog.
- Karenin quickly makes friends with Mefisto.
- Tomas gets a job driving a pickup truck that brings the farm workers and their equipment out to the fields every day.
- Tereza takes cows out to pasture every day, and reads while they graze.
- Karenin is the happiest of the three of them because he likes the regularity of their new schedule.
- One day Tereza notices that Karenin is limping. It turns out that he has a lump from cancer.
- Karenin has an operation to remove the cancer.
- When he recovers from his operation, Karenin wakes in the middle of the night and jumps up on Tomas and Tereza's bed, wanting to cuddle.
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